Meet the Nitwit

Minecraft’s least useful mob?

The Exploration Update may have bought maps and mansions and other marvels, but arguably it made an even greater contribution to the texture of village living in the shape of the nitwit.

They may burble benevolently like their fellow villagers, but these green-robed layabouts don’t have any trade at all, and just spend each day pottering about aimlessly. You can wave all the emeralds you want - they have nothing for you. So why are they there?

It started because players could summon villagers without a career by using commands: it was the only way to get villagers with green robes. Whenever we discover we have a bug which is used by the community we just see it as 'undefined behaviour' - and ‘fix’ it by making it a feature.

In this case we just needed a profession for the green-robed villager. I don’t remember what name we came up with first - I think it was ‘unemployed’ or something, but it doesn’t really fit in the world, because I don’t really think the other villagers are employed by anyone either. So I think the next suggestion was ‘village idiot’ but I thought ‘nitwit’ was a more fun name. Jens Bergensten

So: are they Minecraft’s most useless mob? Only if you assume that everything in Minecraft is there to serve you! Personally, I think the nitwits are just having a jolly good time and/or protesting against the imperatives of the commercial state by denying emerald acquisition through limited trading partners as the ideal system on which to predicate social stability. More power to ‘em. (Also, bats are pretty useless, too.)